‘Council’s Cash Pay-Out To Ex-Clerk’

eion-wattsParish Council Meeting Monday 14th April 2008

Minute Number 797/2008:23

Barlborough First has been excluded from all discussions and decisions regarding the Clerks grievance or the Council instigated dismissal and redundancy procedure. All of these actions should have been discussed at a properly convened Parish Council Meeting or a properly convened Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting. The Parish Council Meeting on the 10th March was not properly convened and the agenda did not provide for lawful decisions. The Extraordinary Meeting requested by Barlborough First was refused by the Chair [Cllr Eion Watts].

In summary therefore the members of Barlborough First feel that, throughout these events, correct procedures have not been followed and that Councillor Watts has chosen to handle matters on his own and without reference to the democratically elected members of Barlborough Parish Council. We would like these concerns to be documented in the Minutes of Barlborough Parish Council and would like it recorded that Barlborough First do not wish to be associated with the actions instigated by Councillor Watts and he alone should be responsible for these actions.’

Derbyshire Times Published Date: 17 December 2008

‘Council’s cash payout to ex-clerk

A PARISH council has apologised and handed over a “substantial” out-of-court cash settlement to its former clerk after she felt she had been victimised and forced to resign. Barlborough Parish Council had addressed matters concerning clerk Roz Bullimore’s work position and grievances at a public meeting which she believed should have been discussed in private. Mrs Bullimore fled the meeting and following her resignation pursued a constructive dismissal claim – but the council announced at a public meeting last Monday that an out-of-court settlement had now been agreed.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Steve Riley said: “The parish council wishes to apologise to Mrs Bullimore for any distress and injury to feelings which she has felt.

“It’s not the wish or the intention of the parish council or indeed its policy to place any employee in a position where the individual may feel the subject of victimisation or harassment of any kind.”

Mrs Bullimore was concerned personal details about her possible redundancy were being discussed in front of residents at the public meeting, in May, and this followed several arguments which had plagued meetings. She complained about the council’s meeting procedure and claimed her guidance was over-ruled.

Mrs Bullimore said: “I’m disappointed it had to come to this. It’s not about the money. it’s been about my concerns over the practices of certain council members and I wouldn’t want any clerk to go through a similar experience.

“I hope the council can learn because problems are happening nationwide and clerks should be treated with more respect.” Mrs Bullimore refused to disclose the amount received from the settlement but revealed it was substantial.

The council also agreed an out-of-court settlement offer of £3,100 earlier in the year to village hall lease-holders Barlborough Civic Trust after a rent arrears row.

* The council revealed earlier this year it had already clocked up thousands of pounds in legal costs – and that Mrs Bullimore’s potential constructive dismissal claim could have run to tens of thousands of pounds.’

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